Poland prays as floods sweep across country

Special prayers were said in churches across Poland on Sunday,  after a week of heavy rains caused several Polish rivers to burst their banks, causing severe flooding. At least 12 people have died and thousands have affected by according to a Polish government spokesman.

The Vistula, Oder and Warta rivers have flooded in several places. A government spokesman said nine helicopters, more than 3,800 soldiers and 35 special boats have been deployed to help victims and prevent further flooding damage.

A residential neighbourhood in the southwestern city of Wroclaw was submerged under water on Saturday after a dike failed.  A dike on the Sleza river, a tributary of the Oder, also broke sending waves through the city of 630,000 inhabitants.

Parts of Krakow have been flooded. In Warsaw, authorities appealed to residents in low-lying areas near the Vistula River to be ready to evacuate if necessary. 120 schools have been closed. On Sunday afternoon the river has reached 7.8 metres, a level not seen in 60 years.